Throughout many years of comics and many iterations and reboots, the Amazons of Themyscira have had several different origins. The Wonder Woman movie will be no exception to that rule — but it seems like we’re getting an Amazon origin that will still be quite a bit different to what people might be expecting.
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Based on a recent visit to the film’s edit bay in London, /Film has an extensive report that basically covers the plot of the entire first act of the film, from its framing device of Diana reminiscing over a photo to the warrior princess’ arrival in the world of men during World War I. Most interestingly, it goes into depth about the origins of the Amazons in the DCEU.
According to the rundown, the origin is covered as an animated storybook tale told to Diana when she’s eight years old, which explains that after Zeus created humanity as companions to the Greek gods, his jealous brother Ares sowed dissent by turning the minds of men to war. Using the cover of humanity’s newfound strife, Ares goes about murdering all the gods, until Zeus creates the Amazons as his tool to stop his brother — and although Ares convinces mankind to enslave the Amazons for a period, they are eventually able to break free. In the meantime, Ares and Zeus battle, and are both severely wounded. Ares survives and escapes, but Zeus, with his dying breath, creates Themyscira as a safe haven for the Amazons to escape to — as well as a sword we’ve seen in the trailers and promotional pictures, the Godkiller, believed to be the only weapon that can kill Ares for good.
So it seems that the DCEU’s take on Amazon society is an amalgam of several different incarnations of their comic origins, with a heavy dash of Greek mythology, albeit a not-at-all traditional version. Elements like mankind enslaving the race of warrior women played roles in both the Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis origins of the Amazons (where it was Hercules who enslaved them before they escaped to Paradise Island), and Zeus’ direct involvement in their creation seems to draw on him being Diana’s biological father in the New 52 incarnation of the character.
It’s a weird mix — and the heavy reliance on the Amazons being born out of a spat between Zeus and Ares is a strange one… especially when it’s Zeus creating a race of peace-loving women, and not, say, Aphrodite or even Artemis, as they did in several of the comic book origin stories. It’s more like they’re tools of the gods rather than just a culture created and nurtured by them. It also, intriguingly, doesn’t give us details on how this version of Diana came to be — although we heard in the run-up to Batman v Superman that it would pretty much be her New 52 origin, which makes a lot of sense given what we now know about the Amazon’s origins in Wonder Woman.
You can read much, much more about the first act of Wonder Woman over at /Film at the link below.